It’s ‘H’ stepping into the colourful role of Joseph

Ian Watkins as Joseph in the Bill Kenwright-produced musical in Blackpool in October

Ian Watkins as Joseph in the Bill Kenwright-produced musical in Blackpool in October

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Ian Watkins must be pretty pleased that, when he was 20 years old and working as a redcoat at Butlins, he responded to a band advert in a magazine.

The group in question turned out to be Steps, who went on - and I know this is hard to believe - to be one of the biggest selling acts of the 90s.

Ian Watkins as Joseph in the Bill Kenwright-produced musical in Blackpool in October.

Ian Watkins as Joseph in the Bill Kenwright-produced musical in Blackpool in October.

They released eight albums and sold 20 million records worldwide. In fact the only British band to have had more top ten hits are The Beatles and to this day Steps hold the record for the UK’s biggest arena tour – and still hold pop’s highest Wembley box office figures.

The only downside for Watkins is that he got lumbered with the nickname H (stands for hyperactive, he says), which has stuck to this day.

It’s not harmed his career since though, with the 37-year-old from Wales branching out into musicals with considerable success.

Which brings us on neatly to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which comes to Blackpool in October and for which Watkins has been announced as the main star.

The Bill Kenwright produced musical arrives at the Opera House from October 1-5 and continues what has already been a terrific summer of top class entertainment, with West End touring shows like Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Soul Sister pulling the crowds in during runs in the resort.

Joseph, the longest touring musical of all time, re-tells the biblical story about Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours and includes hits like Jacob and Sons, Close Every Door and Any Dream Will Do.

Watkins will be the man belting out the songs and he should know what he has doing – he previously played Joseph at the New London Theatre.

He has also appeared on stage in the iconic role of The Childcatcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and had a lead role in Fame.

Tickets for Joseph are priced £19.50-£29.50 and are available from www.blackpoollive.co.uk or from the box office on 01253 629600.

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